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Run a small business? The world is your oyster!

Posted by Francis O' Toole on May 25, 2015

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 To succeed and expand, many of Irelands small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) are looking to overseas markets. As production chains become more internationalised, monetary unions expand and free-trade agreements multiply, they are becoming increasingly reliant on making overseas money transfers; leaving them at the mercy of the volatile foreign exchange market and its fluctuating rates that can significantly impact a business’s international payments.
There is cause for optimism for ambitious SMEs based in Ireland. A 2014 SME pulse survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, indicates that an overwhelming majority of Ireland’s SME sector are confident about the prospects for the Irish economy and their businesses. With many of the opinion that their business is in better financial health now compared to before the financial crisis some six years ago.

As an export-led economy, growth potential in foreign markets is important to Ireland. Thankfully, Irish SMEs are in growth mode, much of which is derived from tried and tested markets such as the UK. According to the survey, this upward trend is set to continue, with two-thirds (64%) of Irish SMEs planning to grow export volumes in the next 3-5 years. Of this, over a third (36%) plan to grow exports by more than 10%. The UK (81%) is the most important market for these exports, followed by Western Europe (50%) and North America (36%). A quarter are eyeing up China, while other markets such as Brazil, the Middle-East, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Japan are also of interest to nearly one in six.

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